OA 2024 Issue 05



Peter Evans joined the College in 1976 and attended his first scout meeting the following year. Since then the scout movement has been a significant part of Peter’s life. For over 40 years he has promoted the fundamental principles of scouting; Duty to God, Duty to Others and Duty to Self. In doing so he has positively shaped the lives of countless young people, travelled the world and made lifelong friends. Peter has been Group Scout Leader of the 25th Camberwell Scout Group for over 20 years.

How did you get involved with scouting at the College? I joined the College Troop II as a Scout in 1977 and then continued through, helping Chris Field run Troop II while I was a Venture Scout and after I returned to London post-university. When Chris became Deputy Master in 1991, he had been involved with scouting at the College for over 25 years, and at that point it was obvious that he would have to step back. There was a discussion about whether the Troop could continue so I put myself forward offering support. I ran the Troop for 20 years, from 1991 through to 2010. Since then, I’ve continued to co- ordinate Dulwich Scouting and currently run the Explorer section for ages 14–17. What attracted you as a teenager to the Scout Movement? I enjoyed the adventurous outdoor activities in particular – the hill walking and kayaking. I also got quite heavily involved at Broadstone Warren in the Ashdown Forest. Through scouting I learned not only a great deal about myself but also about teamwork and leadership, skills which I have used throughout my working life. The key to many jobs is having the ability to manage people; scouting taught me that. Many of the friendships that I made in those early days have stayed with me for life. If I look at all the people I went to school with, there's probably nobody I'm still in touch with who was not a Scout. You were at the College between 1976 and 1985. What did scouting at Dulwich look like in those days? Scouting was much more integrated into the life of the College than it is today. The meetings were immediately after the end of the school day and there were over 100 College boys – J Formers through to the Sixth Form – involved in the three Scout Troops and another 20 in the Venture Scouts (Explorers). All the leaders were members of the College staff, including Chris Field, Garth Davidson, Frank Loveder and Barry Evans. The inimitable John Cottle was the Group Scout Leader in those days. There was a much more traditional feel to what we were doing than there is today. Many will remember Ivor ‘Gippo’ Gipson, who arrived at Dulwich in 1930, working tirelessly in the ‘Stores’. On leaving the College, he worked for Southern Railways as an engineer and when he came back to help he very much brought that railway engineering approach to the way he expected the equipment to be maintained. Mind you, while we might think his approach is old fashioned by today’s standards, all the systems that he created are still in place, although today they may appear in an Excel spreadsheet rather than on a wall chart. The Troop rooms were upstairs in the Gymnasium (PE Centre) and the Stores downstairs, but as the needs of the College’s sports programme expanded, it became obvious that we would have to find new premises. Hence our move, some 10 years ago, to the Trevor Bailey Sports Club, which was mostly funded by a gift from OA Bill Hall.


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